Monthly Archives: January 2006

WordPress 2.0 thoughts and trying something new

Update #2 — I’m also trying out this method for automatically posting daily del.icio.us links as blog posts. I’m setting up Flickr’s auto-blogging too, and if all works out OK, I might trim down all these side columns into one main stream of posts.

Update — It figures that WordPress 2.0.1 is released today and I have to upgrade again. At least it fixes something else that I’d been trying to troubleshoot.

I mentioned I upgraded last weekend, and just the other day I finally got around to fixing the commenting again.  I’m not sure what killed it in the first place.  After I gutted things and inserted new template code, and brought in a new comment template, it all worked again.  It was probably a little mistake I made somewhere that broke it all, or there was some deprecated old syntax that i was still using.  Anyway, it’s all back.  And WordPress 2.0 itself is…

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Musical Tastes in a Nutshell

Thanks to Williamsburger for finding this nifty application that grabs bits of songs from your iTunes library and creates your iTunes signature. I tried two different versions, one based off number of times played and another based off my highest rated songs. No so surprising that they both ended up with pretty much the same tunes mixed a little different. Here’s the one I think turned out the best: my iTunes signature (mp3). My cousin came up with some interesting mixes with some more classical flavor.

Two Things I Did Today…

Part I (boring)
1. 3rd party ad tag -> Ad creative -> Styles -> Ad server -> Ad call -> Website = No Styles on Ad
2. Rewrite Javascript and Styles a billion times = No luck
3. Enlist WebDev and Engineering to rewrite Javascript and test Ad server = No luck
4. Contact client to modify ad tag = No luck
5. 3rd party ad tag -> Ad creative A -> Styles A -> Iframe -> Ad creative B -> Styles B -> Ad server -> Ad call -> Website = Styled Ad = No sense

Part II (amusing)
1. Try an e-mail search on Switchboard.com (anything that might return results… “asdf, asdf” works)
2. On the results page notice the third icon in front of “Search by SSN”
3. Compare to Safari page on the Apple website
4. Send a message to the Apple’s Trademark inquiry e-mail

Upgrading

Update – Got all my posts showing up again, but need to re-work the individual entry template to get comments showing up again. Sluggish internet connection has been a pain to work with too.

Trying to figure out a few bugs after upgrading to WordPress 2.0. Might look a little odd around here for a while.

Optimal Banana Ripeness?

A quick question: What is the optimal ripeness to eat a banana?

Let’s break banana ripeness down to 5 stages, only 3 of which I expect anyone to choose.
1. Green
2. Yellow-green
3. All yellow
4. Yellow, with few brown spots
5. Brown

Anecdotally, I’ve heard most people strongly defend either #2 or #4, with actually fewer people choosing #3, which is kinda backed up by this small survey. Also, this summary describes the taste differences of ripe vs. less-ripe bananas, but doesn’t mention any nutritional difference. I heard someone argue that the slightly brown bananas are actually more nutritious because the nutrients from the skin have gone into ripening the banana fruit itself. I haven’t found anything to back this up, but it sounds rather logical, and I know other skinned fruits and vegetables contain many of their nutrients in the skins/peels.

My personal preference? I like bananas a lot and will eat them at any of the three middle stages. After hearing the nutritional theory above, I figured there wasn’t much harm in trying it, especially if it turned out to be true. So I’ve gotten in the habit of letting bananas ripen a little longer until they’re yellow with a few brown spots.

Requisite Comment on the Rain

Rainy Forecast 27 consecutive days of rain in Seattle as of today. The 10-day forecast is pictured to the right. We only need 6 more days to beat the record of 33, and it’s looking like we can do it. I wonder if I jinxed the city with all those times over the holidays I said, “It doesn’t rain all that much” to my relatives commenting on “rainy Seattle.” It really is a strange rain though. In New England we’d probably call all of this light rain, sprinkling or drizzle. But here in Seattle it’s just rain. Never much of a downpour, it just slowly and steadily keeps falling. The sun broke out briefly the other day, but the clouds quickly came back.

It takes a toll on the mood. The post-holiday blues are plenty, and then there’s this weather thing. I’m sure bars and coffee shops are enjoying the extra business, and I suspect movie rentals and pizza deliveries are seeing impressive numbers. Umbrella sales must be through the roof.

Strategies for coping…
1. Increased hibernation, such as going to bed earlier, and sleeping in a little longer.
2. Catch up on old TV shows and movies. I recommend Lost, Season 1 and then jumping into Season 2, which has finally resumed.
3. Root for the Seahawks. (Playoff game is on at this very moment. We just pulled ahead 7-3!)
4. Carry an extra pair of dry socks with you.
5. Stay warm. You’re probably going to get wet, and cold doesn’t go well with wet.

Sometimes I wonder if this really beats having to shovel snow and scrape ice in the freezing cold. I’m really not sure.

Kong, Munich, Rize

King Kong was pretty darn fun. Once again Peter Jackson has raised the bar on epic action. Over-the-top monsters and mayhem can be done (semi) seriously without ending up like that 1998 Godzilla crap. Kong felt a little long in some places, such as the lead up to the island, and like everyone else, I think the insect scene could have been cut. But it also felt a little short and rushed once we got back to New York. For how invested I was at that point, it just felt like we were thrown right into the finale, with not even a half-dozen more lines of dialogue from the main characters. Overall, still a great movie.

And I thought King Kong felt too long… Munich really dragged in places and had what felt like 3 or 4 endings. We get it already, he’s conflicted and paranoid!! It also suffered from some incredibly painful heavy-handed directing. Spielberg is now back up sharing the thrown of heavy-handedness with the other reigning champs, Ron “Cinderella” Howard and Mel “Jesus Christ” Gibson. But at least we didn’t have bookends of an old man in a graveyard, crying and reminiscing the whole story. The story itself was quite intense and all of the suspense, history and settings were very well executed. But I felt the violence was a little too much. We understand it’s horrific stuff, but sometimes a little restraint gives more impact than seeing every single blood spurt, brain chunk, and severed limb fly across the screen.

Rize was excellent. It started off a little jumbled, jumping from riots to clowns to dancing. But as the pieces all fit together, you ended up for a real sense of the energy and emotion fueling these people. , The tribal and religious connections were thin at best, and felt unnecessarily tacked onto the more interesting subject matter. It’s such a different culture, it’s nearly impossible for a spoiled little white boy like me to really “get it” but there were times where the film almost brought me to tears. Seeing the community, camaraderie, and passion in the dancing, krumping and raw creative expression was moving.

Taxi Business Tidbit

In a conversation with the cab driver on my way home tonight, we both commented on the rain outside. I then said, “But it must be a good night for taxis.”
He replied, “Yeah, rain is good, but it’s the slow time of the year.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes, everybody spends too much during the holidays, so they stay in.”
“Good point.”
“It’s slow for the next month and a half.”

Seems logical now that I think about it. Even taxi cabs are seasonal.

Edward Rondthaler: One Old but Cool Relative

UPDATE – To see the Centenarian ad from Genworth Financial featuring Ed Rondthaler, follow the directions here.

It seems every year during the family gatherings around the holidays I learn something new, or rediscover some interesting tidbit about my family. This year my father mentioned our eldest relative, a cousin of my grandmother’s (I think), and also my father’s godfather, Edward Rondthaler. I remembered him most from family gatherings on the Connecticut shore almost every summer while growing up. As a little kid I thought he was a fascinating old man who told really great stories and jokes. When I was a bit older I visited him again with my family, at his home, and was amazed at how many books filled his old house, and was impressed that at his age he knew his way around a computer (in the days before Windows). I always thought he was an interesting man, but at the time I never learned much about his history.
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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great time ringing in the new year and keeping the French Province of Champagne on it’s feet for another year. I had a quiet New Year’s Eve and Day this year. Came down with a cold just in time but did some brief shopping in the afternoon before digging in for the night. I vegged for the evening with a few Lost episodes (now all caught up from season one) and caught the Project Runway marathon on Bravo. Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, it’s a great show, and I have to agree with Geoff that Diana Eng is geeky cute, and her weblog is great. And of course some VH1 “Best of the X0’s” to finish it out. I fell asleep about 15 minutes after midnight. So much for celebration, but here’s to 2006! May it be yet another year not entirely unlike the last. Maybe even better in some places.